Search

MP opposes bid to continue dredging off Great Yarmouth for another 15 years

PUBLISHED: 15:32 10 July 2018

A dredger off Hemsby Photo: James Bensly

A dredger off Hemsby Photo: James Bensly

James Bensly

A decision on whether aggregate dredging can continue on a slice of sea-bed off Great Yarmouth for another 15 years will be made in the next few months.

Tarmac Marine wants to take up to six million tonnes from area 254 - first approved as a dredging zone in 1974 - over a period of 15 years.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has lodged an official objection saying it could be harming the coast and accelerating erosion.

His is one of 21 representations made as part of the consultation process.

In a letter to the Marine Management Organisation, the licensing authority, he said he had “serious concerns”.

He wrote: “As a coastal community the constituency of Great Yarmouth is acutely aware of the power of the sea and the ongoing damage caused to parts of our coastline by erosion.

“Whilst, thankfully, some parts of the borough have strong defences and some beaches are growing there remain serious challenges to our coastline in large areas of the borough, especially in the areas to the north of the town.

“The borough is rightly renowned for our beautiful sandy beaches, but sand is especially vulnerable to changes in sediment flow and adverse weather or tidal changes.

“Whilst I appreciate that there is not a scientific consensus that dredging affects coastal erosion there is considerable anecdotal evidence to suggest a relationship and I strongly believe that the continuing removal of material from the sea, comparatively close to the coastline, could result in a disruption to the natural sediment flow, potentially creating further problems for coastal communities, either in Great Yarmouth or further along the coast.”

James Bensly, whose borough council ward includes Hemsby and Winterton, said the council had also objected, and always had.

He understood dredging had been going on for some decades in an are three or four miles east of Great Yarmouth’s Hollywood cinema.

He said: “I am not saying dredging causes coastal erosion but it certainly does improve it without a shadow of a doubt, and ironically the stuff they dredge is used by the Dutch to shore up their coastline.

“Any kiddie knows if you dig a hole and take the sand away, material will move in to refill it.

“I am a great believer in cause and effect. In sucking up all these minerals what are we doing to the sea bed? I just think it is too close.

“That dredger looks like a big old evil ship when you see it off Hemsby. With all that has been going on it seems like they are rubbing our noses in it.”

What the documents say

The Area 254 proposal is to permit a maximum extraction of 6,000,000 tonnes over the 15 years licence term with a maximum annual extraction rate of 1,000,000 tonnes with an average annual extraction of 400,000 tonnes.

During the term of the marine licence the option for screening, hopper washing and seabed sampling is required.

Resources extracted from the licence areas will be delivered to ports along the East Coast of the UK, particularly along the Thames and aggregates may also be delivered to wharves along the west continental coast.

The aggregates will be used in concrete, infrastructure projects, and for coastal defence/beach nourishment.

The consultation process

The consultation closed on June 29.

Twenty-one public representations/objections (including the letter from Brandon Lewis MP) were received.

The licensing authority is currently reviewing all representations received and the advice from our scientific and environmental advisors (such as the Centre for Environment and Aquaculture Science).

As part the decision-making process it will consider whether the objection, and its supporting evidence, is relevant to the application.

Officials will always respond in writing to anyone who makes a written objection in relation to a licence application.

They aim to determine 90pc of applications within 13 weeks.

Other News

Yesterday, 17:24

Emergency services were called to Great Yarmouth town centre after a disused lamp post caught fire on Monday afternoon.

Yesterday, 16:56

A primary school in Great Yarmouth has been praised by Ofsted for helping pupils “settle, thrive and make good progress”.

Yesterday, 16:35

A woman thought she was going to die as her ex-partner stamped on her head twice and broke her nose, a court heard.

Yesterday, 15:17

A woman who was wanted by police on recall to prison has been found in Great Yarmouth.

Most Read

Yesterday, 12:33

A road rage incident in Great Yarmouth saw a man leave his car and try and get into another driver’s car when it was stopped at traffic lights.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:17

A woman who was wanted by police on recall to prison has been found in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 16:35

A woman thought she was going to die as her ex-partner stamped on her head twice and broke her nose, a court heard.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Yesterday, 17:24

Emergency services were called to Great Yarmouth town centre after a disused lamp post caught fire on Monday afternoon.

Read more
Rescue Service
Yesterday, 11:02

The most prestigious annual celebration of business excellence in the Great Yarmouth borough, the Spirit of Enterprise Awards, will culminate this Friday in a glittering trophy presentation ceremony.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 5°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy